LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons (25) is considered by many the top prize in the NBA Draft. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports)
Get ready for an ice-cream headache.
Courtesy the brains in the Celtics’ front office, all 156 lottery combinations have been revealed on Celtics.com.
Assistant general manager and team counsel Mike Zarren, with the help of director of basketball analytics David Sparks have released all possible combinations that, if they come up on Tuesday night in New York City, will give the Celtics the top overall pick.
To keep it as simple as possible, there are 14 teams in the lottery. There are 14 ping pong balls. The process is as follows: Each team is assigned to a particular numbered ball. That process is repeated two more times. Then after the third draw of balls, the order of the lottery is determined by the 11 remained teams in reverse order of overall record finish this past season.
The four steps in this process is called a “four-ball” lottery method. In four-ball lottery, there are 1,001 possible combinations. The NBA has eliminated one of the combos by assigning no team to it, thereby drawing it down to an even 1,000. The Celtics have been assigned 156 possible combinations, giving them a 15.6 percent chance of “winning the lottery” and getting the No. 1 overall pick.
This is the third-best chance, as the Nets finished with the third-worst record in the NBA. The Sixers, who finished with the worst record (10-72) have been assigned 250 combinations and own the best chance at 25 percent. The Lakers own 199 combinations or a 19.9 percent chance. That covers the first three picks.
Thanks to Sparks, who did the math, the Celtics can count on a 15.7 percent chance to capture the second pick and a 15.6 percent chance of winning the third pick. Put them together and the Celtics have a 46.9 percent chance of landing in the top three spots. But the bigger number might be 31.3 percent.
Those are the odds that the Celtics wind up with one of the top two picks, ensuring them the chance to draft either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. They are considered the elite two picks of the draft, even ahead of the likes of Dragan Bender, Jamaal Murray, Jaylen Brown or Buddy Hield.
The Celtics also own their own pick (No. 23) and Dallas’ picks (No. 16) in the first round.
The odds for the first three picks of the 2016 draft. (Boston Celtics)
Every possible combination for the 14 lottery teams. (Boston Celtics)